Mental Health

The Relationship Between Mental Health and Early Puberty

The Relationship Between Mental Health and Early Puberty

Puberty is a phase of development where the body becomes mature to facilitate reproduction. Sexual maturation includes getting the first period and development of breast tissue for girls.

For boys, the testes begin to mature. Usually, puberty begins in late childhood, between 11 to 12 years for boys and 11 years for girls on average

This stage in life is associated with emotional and behavioral issues like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substances. Research has shown the possibility of stress and mental health being a major cause of early puberty.

According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, children who entered puberty early had signs of poor mental health in their early childhood.

In a study that we did, it was established that boys that entered puberty at an earlier age had difficulties in social and emotional adjustment and increased behavioral issues.

Also, girls who had an earlier puberty onset found it difficult to make social and emotional adjustments. However, they didn’t have behavioral issues.

Generally, boys and girls experience a lot of stress and challenges during puberty. Stress can lead to early reproductive development and cause the child to have early puberty.

All these changes during the transition increase the risk for behavioral and emotional problems.

How to Reduce the Risks

There is no clear answer as to the cause of early puberty in children. However, there may be preventative measures that can be taken to prevent mental health during puberty.

For instance, ensuring a healthy environment for children can help promote emotional and social resources.

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